PubMed 21907997

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: KCNQ1 , Kv7.1

Title: Arrhythmic risk in congenital long QT syndrome.

Authors: Elizabeth S Kaufman

Journal, date & volume: J Electrocardiol, 2011 Nov , 44, 645-9

PubMed link:

One of the most important and challenging aspects of caring for patients with congenital long QT syndrome (LQTS) is assessing an individual's risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD) because of torsades de pointes. Current risk assessment integrates clinical and genetic features known to be associated with SCD, but more accurate methods of risk assessment could lead to more appropriate use of therapies, potentially saving lives and avoiding overtreatment. Conventional indices of risk include sex, age, extent of QT prolongation, history of symptoms (syncope or aborted SCD), and genetic subtype. The biophysical properties of specific mutations (eg, those that affect transmembrane segments of the ion channel protein or those that cause a dominant negative effect on ion channel function vs haplotype insufficiency) also contribute to risk. A growing body of basic mechanistic and clinical evidence points to heterogeneity of repolarization as a potent determinant of risk in LQTS patients. Mechanistically, heterogeneities of repolarization provide substrate for reentry, which likely causes perpetuation of torsades de pointes. Clinical markers that reflect heterogeneity of repolarization include abnormal microvolt-level T wave alternans, increased Tpeak-end interval, and dispersion of mechanical contraction time. The optimal methodology for using these indices as risk predictors in LQTS remains under active investigation. Further studies are needed to determine how indices of heterogeneity such as microvolt-level T wave alternans, Tpeak-end interval, and dispersion of mechanical contraction can be incorporated into models of risk prediction in LQTS, both for initial risk stratification and for assessment of efficacy of therapies.